Cleveland Square

Because of its proximity to Hyde Park and the ease of access to the West End, Bayswater has always been a popular place to live. A fashionable area in Victorian times, it was a home for the establishment, the literati and the empire builders of the era. The varied architecture of the Bayswater area includes established neighbourhoods
containing white stucco terraces, period maisonettes, attractive mews and large Victorian houses.
The quiet leafy streets also contain several fine squares featuring tree-filled gardens. One of these, and perhaps the most picturesque, is Cleveland Square – a grand garden square of attractive Grade II listed Victorian terraces.
Established in the 1850s, it has particularly generous use of space, with the impressive North Terrace leading directly onto the beautiful gardens.
It is no wonder that Cleveland Square once rivalled Lancaster Gate as the most expensive address in Bayswater. Perhaps it still is!

The Garden

“….the measure of any great civilisation is in its cities and the measure of a city’s greatness is to be found in the quality of its public spaces, its parks and squares…”
John Ruskin
The gardens of Cleveland Square are surrounded on 3 sides by magnificent 150 year old London plane trees. The total area is approximately 1.5 acres, made up of large expanses of lawn, paths, and flowerbeds. The square is dotted with mature plum and cherry trees and the children’s play areas are very popular, especially in summer.
In the middle of the garden there is a small plaque commemorating where a barrage balloon was moored in WW2 (until recently there was a raised bed hiding the concrete moorings that had previously been too difficult to remove). An unseen feature is the Westbourne River which runs under the square on its way to Hyde Park.

Cleveland Gardens

Cleveland Gardens was established around 1855, soon after Cleveland Square. Like many London gardens, the original iron railings were removed during the Second World War and were replaced with concrete posts and wire fencing. During the 1970s and 1980s only a handful of houses contributed to the upkeep of the gardens and a few dedicated residents struggled to do their best with limited resources. Then in the mid 1990s the gardens came under the umbrella of CSRA – the gardening hours were increased, the trees were pruned, water was re-instated, and the path was gravelled.
But in spite of these improvements, it soon became apparent that the only way to make a real difference to the look of the gardens was to replace the dilapidated and unattractive chain-link fencing. The problem was the cost! However, after several years of hard work and perseverance by CSRA and with the help of our local councillor, Robert Davis, and John Zamit of SEBRA, grants were sought and planning permission was eventually obtained for traditional cast iron Victorian-style railings. These were installed in 2006, soon followed by a brand new path of self-binding gravel and complete replanting of the borders, designed to give open views into the gardens.
The cost of the railings, at around £100,000, was jointly funded by CSRA, along with generous grants from English Heritage and Westminster City Council’s Paddington Social & Community Fund. As part of the grant criteria, CSRA has agreed to open the gardens to the public for a minimum of 21 days a year for a period of ten years (currently this is the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month between approximately 10:00am and 4:00pm). CSRA is, rightly, very proud of what has been achieved – the railings and the gardens look really stunning and have transformed and enriched the local area well beyond expectation.

 

 

Garden Key Application

To apply for a key to gain access to the gardens of Cleveland Square and Cleveland Gardens you need to be able to prove eligibility of residency relating to a property in either Cleveland Square or Cleveland Gardens W2. Before downloading the Garden Key application form, please click here to read the requirements necessary for garden key ownership.